ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A majority of New Yorkers remain opposed to a mosque proposed as part of a planned Islamic cultural center near ground zero, and the issue will be a factor for many voters this fall, according to a statewide poll released Wednesday.

The Siena College poll showed 63 percent of New York voters surveyed oppose the project, with 27 percent supporting it. That compares with 64 percent opposed and 28 percent in favor two weeks earlier, results that are within the polls’ sampling margins.

Democrats nationwide, including President Barack Obama, have defended the proposal as protected by the Constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom. Many Republicans have called it an affront to the memory of those killed in the Sept. 11 attacks.

A CNN/Opinion Research poll released last week found that nearly 70 percent of Americans opposed the mosque plan, while 29 percent approved.

In a new question, the latest poll found that many New Yorkers believe the project is protected by the Constitution, even if they oppose the plan.

Nearly two-thirds of voters, 64 percent, say the developers have a constitutional right to build the mosque. Twenty-eight percent say they do not.

Among those who oppose building the mosque, about half agree that developers have the constitutional right to build it. Twenty-eight percent of mosque opponents say they do not have that right.

Nearly a quarter of voters questioned said the issue will have a major effect on which candidate for governor they support. Thirty-seven percent say it will have some effect, while about 40 percent of voters say it won’t matter.

The poll showed Republican Carl Paladino, who has taken the hardest line against the project among the candidates, is continuing to gain on Rick Lazio heading into the GOP primary and also gaining on Democrat Andrew Cuomo. Still, Cuomo continues to have twice the support of either Lazio or Paladino.

Of those who see the issue as a major factor in their vote, almost all — 92 percent — oppose building the mosque near ground zero. Cuomo has only a narrow lead over Lazio among those voters.

Cuomo has defended the project, saying it is protected by the Constitution. Lazio wants an investigation into who will fund the $100 million project. Paladino said it is akin to a Japanese war memorial at Pearl Harbor, the site of the 1941 attack that brought the United States into World War II.

As the Sept. 14 Republican primary draws near, Lazio’s lead over Paladino, who has tea party activists among his supporters, is shrinking among Republicans. The lead is down to 13 points at 43 percent versus Paladino’s 30 percent, with 27 percent undecided. That compares with Lazio’s 20-point lead over Paladino in July, although the margin of error is greater when only Republicans were questioned, reflecting the smaller sample.

The Siena telephone poll questioned 788 registered voters Aug. 9 through Monday. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (19)
  1. Jeff Marshall says:

    Other polls show that about 70% of New York City residents are in favor of the mosque being built there!

  2. Mike Diaz says:

    I love how people are completely wrapped up in this whole mosque crap at ground zero!! How about the same sensitive people get together and be outraged at all the other REAL bs that’s going on at ground zero like the fact that 9 years later it’s still GROUND ZERO!! Or the fact that our incompetent government agencies haven’t been able to even lay single brick or put a steel beam up in that area!!! It’s all a ploy, the real reason they want you to get all worked up about the Muslim’s building is so you look past their inadequacies or maybe worse!!!! WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! HATRED BLINDS YOU!!!! And that what they’re banking on!

  3. MARIA B says:

    In principle, both President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg are correct. If all the legal permits are in place and the zoning for the area allows such a structure, then legally there is no reason not to build it. However, I personally feel that the planned Islamic Community Center should be built somewhere else – it’s just not the right thing to do to build it near the World Trade Center.

  4. RL Smith says:

    I am a former US soldier, now a Dept of the Army civilian working in Germany and other places we won’t mention here. I am in contact with Muslims on a daily and we don’t have half the issues that you guys seem to have. Why, because we get training and information about what Islam is about. The vast majority of us here, most of whom have done a tour in Iraq or Afganistan, understand that it is not the religion that is at fault but rather the fanatics (of which no religion is exempt). Some of you people need to get informed, this is a global world where tolerance and trust are needed to prevail. and in case you think I don’t understand 9/11, think twice, I’m a native NY’er who knew someone who lost their life at what is now “Ground Zero”.

  5. mike s. says:

    Can an American or Christian build a church in Japan? What about in southern American states where the ku klux klan terrorized people? What about near the Atlanta Olympic stadium sight that was bombed by a Christian?

  6. williedyanmite says:

    No mosque or synagogues near ground zero; oh, and while we’re at it, lets get ride of St. Pauls and Trinity Church!

  7. iRunThis says:

    I couldn’t agree more with Dan Te

  8. iRunThis says:

    Let them build it. But take it down anyway when it is packed to capacity

  9. Stephen says:

    I believe the Muslim people have a right to build it and build it at Park 51. Everyone needs to get over the 9-11 thing. Islam and what happened on 9-11 have nothing to do with each other. BUILD IT !!

    1. tony says:

      everbody should get over the 911 thing????? i saw the buildings go down and watched people jumping off that building to get away.i lost two firiends that day.get over it?? i think not! ! ! ! maybe you should …………….

  10. BRITISH MUSLIM says:

    GREAT 🙂

  11. Amerigo says:

    No it’s not a mosque, it’s a shrine to the murderers of 3,000 New Yorkers. You better get a grip.

  12. B. Prince says:

    Civil rights have never be subject to Votes. Rights are guaranteed by the Constitution. I never want “the people” to VOTE on our rights. Rights are inalienable and come from the creator no the voters.

  13. B. Prince says:

    Oh, and by the way. No terrorist organization is financing the mosque. Anti-Mosque people are the two faces. You want religous freedom, and the Constitution just for yourselves and no one else. That’s hypocritical.

    Religious Freedom for All, including Muslims.

  14. Amerigo says:

    Whu not let the people of New York vote on the issue

    1. NotoriousOne~ says:

      And while we’re at it, why don’t we let the citizens of Iraq vote on whether they want the U.S. troops, who invaded their country on a false pretense, to stay in their country? Or are voting rights ONLY for American citizens?
      Stop being hypocritical, they have a Constitutional right to build there and if you want to talk about ‘respect’ for thr 3,000+ innocent killed at the WTC, how about the innocent killed in Iraq over the U.S.’ unjust war? Typical Americans always being about YOU!

  15. B. Prince says:

    It’s not a Mosque and its not at Ground Zero. Yahoo should stop using such deceptive language. It’s a community center in lower Manhattan.

    Get a grip people.

  16. DanTe says:

    I love Nancy Pelosi’s take on this. She doesn’t want to know which terrorist organization is financing this mosque. She wants an investigation as to who is financing this anti-mosque campaign. Here’s the answer you stupid two faced liberal: AMERICANS finance this anti-desecration campaign. I’m pretty sure Pelosi has a huge problem with Americans.

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